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Google Photos Free Storage Ends June 1: Next Steps for Android, iOS Users

Google Photos unlimited storage benefit is coming to an end on June 1. Google had announced in November last year that it was ending the unlimited storage benefit. The change means that users who want more storage than the 15GB limit cap for Google accounts — split between Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail — will have to buy additional storage. Google Photos users earlier had the option to store unlimited ‘High’ quality photos (compressed to below 16MB) on the cloud for free, which will cease to exist from June 1.

If you’re still far away from the 15GB storage limit, then this change won’t affect you immediately. Google account users will start getting notifications once their storage begins nearing 15GB. It’s important to note that ‘High’ quality and ‘Express’ quality photos (further compressed) and videos backed up before June 1 won’t count towards your Google Account storage limit. However, photos backed up in ‘Original’ quality before June 1 will count toward your Google Account storage.

Backup to High or Express quality before June 1

To check your backup quality, head to Google Photos app > click on the profile icon > Photos Settings > Backup and Sync > Upload size. Select High Quality or Express Quality, depending on the storage you have left from the 15GB free allowed. Express quality reduces the resolution a little more than High quality and ‘Original’ quality, as the name suggests, retains the resolution as is. Remember, all photos backed up in ‘High’ or ‘Express’ quality won’t count towards the Google Account storage before June 1, so it’s best to make this change.

Free up storage using Google One

The other thing to do before the June 1 deadline is free up some storage in Google Photos, and stay within the 15GB limit for your Google account. To delete unwanted photos and videos from Google Photos, download the Google One app, sign in using the same Google account as Google Photos, and head to the Storage tab. Click on Free up Account Storage. The Storage Manager will offer different solutions to free up storage space that can help you stay within the 15GB cap limit.

Google also says that it will also roll out a new free tool that will let users find blurry, dark, and other low-quality photos, to help users delete them and stay within the 15GB free storage limit. This tool will be rolled out in June. Ensure that you use this tool and get rid of unwanted photos.

Buy storage via Google One or Apple One subscription

Once you reach your storage limit, you can either subscribe to Google One or Apple One, depending on the handset you use. iPhone users can subscribe to Google One, but to subscribe to Apple One, you need an Apple device.

Google One starts from Rs. 120 per month that offers 100GB storage. If users want 200GB of storage, the Google One membership costs Rs. 210 per month and the 2TB storage plan costs Rs. 650 per month. Annual plans are priced at Rs. 1,300, Rs. 2,100, and Rs. 6,500, respectively. Other apps like Dropbox, OneDrive also offer cloud storage subscriptions, but if you’re a frequent Google products user, then subscribing to Google One makes the most sense.

Apart from additional storage, Google One also offers the ability to automatically back up your phone for ease in switching handsets and helps you get in touch with experts for better complaint redressal. It also offers access to Google Store rewards and Google Play credits. Users can share their Google One plan with up to five family members and get extended free trials on services like YouTube Premium.

Apple users can also subscribe to Google One on their iPhones or iPads, or opt for Apple One or iCloud storage subscription. There are two Apple One membership plans available in India – Individual and Family plan. The Individual plan is priced at Rs. 195 per month and offers 50GB iCloud storage, in addition to subscription to Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade. The Family Plan is priced at Rs. 365 per month and offers 200GB iCloud storage, five members usage, and subscription to Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade.

The base iCloud storage plan starts at Rs. 75 per month for 50GB data. The Rs. 219 per month gets you 200GB data, and the Rs. 749 plan offers 2TB data.

It’s Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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